Circleville held its annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday prior to the varsity boys basketball game against Amanda-Clearcreek. The 2023 class includes David Burroughs, Rebekah Branham Cline, Kory Valentine and Tara Williams Whitten.
Class of 2014
David was a three-sport athlete for the Tigers, earning a total of ten varsity letters in his four years playing football, basketball, and baseball.
As a baseball athlete, he was named Second-Team All-Mid-State League and Second-Team All-Southeast District during his junior season in 2013. During his senior season in 2014, he was named First-Team All-MSL, First Team All-District, and the Team MVP.
David found a majority of his success on the football field. A four-year letter-winner under the direction of both Heath Hinton and Keith Downing, he truly took off during his junior and senior seasons. During his junior season in 2012, he was named First-Team All-MSL and First-Team All-District along with an All-Ohio Special Mention. In his senior season, he again was named First-Team All-MSL and First-Team All-District, along with being named the District Player of the Year, Team MVP, and All-Ohio First Team. He currently holds the CHS record for all-purpose yards in a season at 3,115 and career yards at 6,382.
After graduation, he walked on at Ohio University as a running back, working into a full-ride scholarship as the starting kick returner. During his time there, he was a part of two bowl-winning teams as the Bobcats won the Bahamas Bowl in 2017 and the Frisco Bowl in 2018. He made appearances in 21 games for the Bobcats, having thirty-seven carries for 299 yards at running back.
David graduated from Ohio University with a degree in exercise physiology. Following his graduation, he worked on the strength and conditioning staff at Ohio University, then moved on to the University of Cincinnati and worked the same role under coach Luke Fickell. He currently works at ATI physical therapy and is engaged to his fiancé, Alyssa Feeley. He would like to add thanks to all his former teammates and coaches, because without them none of these individual accolades would be possible.
Rebekah Branham Cline
Class of 2014
Rebekah Branham Cline was a four-sport athlete, earning 12 varsity letters in track, soccer, basketball, and cross country.
As a track athlete, Rebekah won ten MSL and nine SE District titles and placed in the top six in the state meet all four years. Her freshman year she won MSL titles in the 400m, 800m, and the 4 x 400m relay. She continued her success, placing 3rd in the 800m at the Division II State Track Meet. Her sophomore year she was the MSL and SE District Champion in the 400m, 800m, and 4 x400m relay. At the State Meet, Rebekah placed 4th in the 800m. As a junior, Rebekah was the MSL, SE District, and Regional Champion in the 400m, and placed 4th at the OHSAA State Meet. In her final season, Rebekah claimed the MSL Championship in the 100m, 200m, and the 400m. At the Regional Meet, Rebekah was the champion in the 400m. To cap off her career, Rebekah placed 6th in the 400m at the OHSAA Division II State Track Meet. Rebekah holds four CHS Track & Field records in the 200m, 400m, 4x200m relay, and 4x400m relay.
As a basketball athlete, Rebekah earned All-Pickaway County Awards in 2013 and 2014. As a senior, she earned First-Team All-Southeast District, Special Mention All-Ohio, and The Herald Award.
During her junior and senior season, Rebekah transitioned from soccer to cross country, earning a regional qualifier spot in both seasons. As a senior, she was named First Team All-MSL and First Team All-Southeast District.
Rebekah continued her academic and athletic career on scholarship at Eastern Michigan University. She was the Mid-American Conference Champion in the 800-meter run in 2016.
She later graduated from the University of Akron School of Law in 2020. She now works as a Domestic Relations Attorney at McCarthy Lebit Crystal & Liffman. Rebekah currently resides in Columbia, Missouri, with her Husband Matt Cline.
Class of 2004
Kory Valentine was a three-sport standout for the Tigers in the early 2000’s, earning eight varsity letters in football, basketball, and baseball.
As a football athlete, he was a starter on the 2002 State Playoff-Qualifying team under coach Keith Downing. In 2003, he had what went down as one of the greatest football seasons by a defensive player in school history. Racking up the accolades, he was named First-Team All-Mid State League, First-Team All-Pickaway County, First-Team All-Southeast District, and an All-Ohio Special mention nod to top it all off. He was also the Pickaway County Defensive Player of the Year and set the record for most interceptions in a single season by a Tiger football athlete.
As a basketball athlete, he was a two-year letter-winner under coach Eddie Sims. His accolade-filled year came during the 2003-2004 season, as he racked up Second-Team All-Mid-State League, honorable mention All-Southeast District, and Team Defensive Player of the Year Award. Along with these honors, he was selected to both the Pickaway County and Mid-State League All-Star teams.
As a baseball athlete, he was a starter on the 2003 MSL Championship Team under coach Gary McVey. In 2004, he was named the Team Defensive MVP.
After graduation, Kory attended the University of Rio Grande as a basketball student-athlete and was a four-year letter-winner. He was a three-year captain of the Red Storm Program and was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honor Court twice in his collegiate career. In 2008, he was named to the West Virginia Tech Classic All-Tournament Team.
Kory comes from a family rich with Tiger standout athletes and coaches, as his father Don Valentine Jr, grandfather Don Valentine Sr, and uncle Eddie Sims are all current members of the CHS Athletic Hall of Fame.
Kory now resides in Circleville with his wife Darci (who is also a Circleville graduate) and his two daughters, Landrie and Loretta. He works as an Attendance Coordinator at Eastland Career Center in Groveport.
Tara Williams Whitten
Class of 2014
Tara was a three-sport athlete in softball, volleyball and basketball, excelling on the softball field all four years she was with the team.
As only a freshman on the softball team in 2011, she was named Second-Team All-Mid-State League, completing this feat again in 2012. She was also awarded the Team Dedication Award and named Second-Team All-Southeast District in that 2012 season. Her junior season was where things really took off. In 2013, she was named the Team Offensive Player of the Year and Team Most Valuable Player along with First-Team All-MSL, First-Team All-Southeast District, and First-Team All-Ohio selections to round out a prolific year.
After her junior season, Tara tore her ACL and things looked as if they would take a turn for the worst. However, she showed the Tiger fighting spirit as she clawed her way back from one of the most serious injuries in all of sports. She was all ready to go by her senior season and took no steps back, once again earning First-Team All-MSL, First-Team All-Southeast District, and First-Team All-Ohio. She also earned an All-Metro Honorable Mention, which is a regional-level recognition. Among all these awards, the OHSAA named her the 2014 Courageous Athlete Award Winner, given to an Ohio high school athlete that shows exceptional courage and passion in what they do on and off the field.
Tara will forever hold a place in the record books here at CHS. Offensively, she is tied for first place for both doubles and home runs in a season at fifteen and six, respectively. She is third place for singles in a season with thirty-two, along with third place for season batting average, batting .482 in her junior campaign. Her senior season batting average also sits in the record books, as she batted .463 on the season to put her at fifth all-time. Defensively, she holds third place all-time for strikeouts in a season at 156, along with holding the spot of fourth for credited wins in a season at 15. During her comeback senior season, she also threw a perfect game in the sectional tournament game. As of this moment, Tara is still the only CHS softball athlete to be named First-Team All-Ohio twice in her high school career.
After graduation, she played one year at Division I Eastern Kentucky University in 2015 before transferring to Ohio University and becoming their team manager for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In 2018, Tara graduated from Ohio University with a BA in Psychology. In 2020, she completed her Master’s of Education in School Counseling at Capital University.
She currently works as the Elementary Counselor at Zane Trace Elementary School and resides in Circleville with her husband Evan and their son Rhett.